We spoke with Ciriac Alvarez Valle, Policy Analyst for Voices for Utah Children, about community health workers and how they can aid COVID-19 hotspot areas.
As we move to open up the state, we know that there are some hotspots where people have been more heavily impacted than others. Data shows us that some communities continue to make up larger proportions of sick and hospitalized individuals, and our state continues to see a plateau and not a reduction in hospitalizations specifically in these communities. Beyond that, epidemiologists are predicting a resurgence of cases in the fall. Acknowledging that the pandemic isn’t impacting us all in the same way, and understanding that there are key interventions that are proven to work well in combating this crisis are going to be instrumental in beating this in the future.
This week we are encouraging Utahns to ask their legislators to fund two key public health measures in order to support the communities that are experiencing the coronavirus differently and at greater rates than others: community health care workers and trained contact tracers.
In response to anticipated budget shortfalls, the state legislature is expected to call itself into special session to consider major budget cuts. Knowing what works to combat this disease, it is crucial that legislators hear from community members before making broad cuts to the department of health without boosting funding in these critical areas. Make your voice heard on this important issue today!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Read this oped to familiarize yourself with the disparities within our communities and best practices for how to close that gap.
- The CDC has developed a great resource to help better understand the place contact tracing can have in combatting the pandemic. Click here to learn about contact tracers and why it is important to advocate for them as a key component to opening the economy safely.
- Look over Gov. Herbert’s Utah Leads Together 3.0 plan, specifically looking at the recommendations starting on page 9 for multicultural communities.
- Funding for community health workers will enable the state to help the hardest hit communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Funding for trained contact tracers will help us manage spikes in cases and prevent spread as we resume business and activities in the state.
- Do you have a personal story about how these resources would benefit you or your community? Share it!
Scroll down to write your letter using our simple email tool.
How to make sure your letter is successful:
- Use a clear and specific subject heading.
- Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
- Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
- Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
- Sign your name at the end.